The spectacular Scotchman Peaks Roadless Area encompasses 88,000 acres of diverse and unique public lands in northern Idaho and northwestern Montana. Known for its thriving mountain goat population, the area is also a refuge for rare fish and wildlife species such as bull trout and grizzly bear. Visitors to the area are awed by massive old growth cedar trees, stunning alpine vistas, and beautiful views of Lake Pend Oreille.
Where Is the Recommended Wilderness?
The land management plans for the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forests recommend that Congress designate approximately 61,800 acres of the Scotchman Peaks as wilderness. Of this, approximately 13,900 acres are within the state of Idaho, and 47,900 acres are located within the state of Montana.
What’s Happening with the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act?
In December 2016, Idaho Senator Jim Risch introduced the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act as part of a process to gather public input about the proposal. Two open houses were held in June and July of 2017. Based on public input, Senator Risch will decide whether or not to reintroduce the bill in the current congressional session, modify the proposal, or drop the effort all together.
What Is the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act?
The Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act would do the following:
- Designate approximately 13,900 acres of wilderness in Bonner County, Idaho, creating North Idaho’s first protected wilderness area.
- Leave the management of fish and wildlife within the area in the hands of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
- Protect tribal resources and practices.
The Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act would not do the following:
- Close any areas currently open to motorized recreation.
- Close any areas currently open to mountain bikes.
- Close any areas available for timber harvest.
- Affect any existing mining operations.
- Transfer national forest lands to another ownership.
What You Can Do
Contact Senator Risch and let him know you support the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness!